Stockton Police are investigating after a corpse was found in the apartment building at 517 Channel Street Monday.
Stockton Police have not yet confirmed if the death is the result of a homicide. However, they are investigating it as a possible homicide because of what they told FOX40 were “suspicious circumstances”.
The coroner says an autopsy will need to be done before a cause of death can be determined.
If it is a homicide, it would make this the most violent year in that city since they started keeping homicide records. It would be Stockton’s 56th homicide, topping the previous grim record of 55, set back in 1992.
But the woman who was found dead Monday morning may have died months ago.
“This body was old. It’s been there a long time,” said Mike, the man who identified himself as the apartment manager. He asked us not to use his last name.
Mike said that Sunday night he evicted the tenant who’d been living in the apartment, and that he discovered the corpse Monday morning.
“Open up the bathroom, and that’s when I saw the corpse with the feet sticking out,” he said. “In the bathroom lying next to the tub.”
Detectives were still processing the apartment for evidence late Monday night and into Tuesday morning. While they worked, windows were kept opened to the cold night air, ostensibly to get the smell out of the unit.
It is reportedly not the first time police responded to that address, and contacted the tenant.
“I can recall six times calling the police that he had been screaming and yelling, at this body I guess, like it was still alive,” Mike said.
Police were reportedly never able to gain access to the unit.
The tenant was identified as Devon Epps according to Police, officers are looking for him now.
Meanwhile, as FOX40 was broadcasting the macabre details of this crime scene Monday night, the family of a missing Stockton woman arrived. Having seen our reports, they believed that the victim is a relative.
35-year-old Veronica Jones went missing this summer, and reportedly lived with a man at the same apartment building prior to her disappearance.
“I knew exactly where that apartment was. When FOX40 started showing it from camera angles… I knew immediately it was her,” said Isaac Zuniga, Jones’ brother.
He says he the last time he saw his 35-year-old sister was in May. He also says the family knew she was dating a man named Devon Epps.
As for the reports that Epps had been living with a corpse, potentially Veronica’s, Zuniga says it’s hard to think about.
“It’s inhuman, and it’s sickening,” he said.
Ian McDonald contributed to this report.